|Shelburne Museum Guide Alice Thomas|
Though curious at our arrival, they continued to reach into their plastic bags and containers of sandwiches, fruits, and other treats. To spark a friendly conversation, we asked them, “Has anything neat happened so far today?”
The guides told us that there was an English family and a German couple on the grounds. Alice took this as an opportunity to share the time when a group from the Middle East visited the museum. They went up to her husband Gerald, also a guide, and he surprised them all with his fluent Arabic. Alice explained that she and Gerald spent three years at the American naval base in Tripoli, Libya during the 1970s. She recalled the beautiful city and the warm weather; but above all, she recalled the male attention she used to receive in the marketplace. “They used to pinch you. If they thought you were good looking you could count on a pinch.” We all let out a good laugh.
They spoke for a minute or two about guide classes. Guides supplement their own research with morning classes on topics ranging from the gardens on the grounds to social media and networking in the museum world. Beth Thorpe told us about a favorite class that taught historic fabric dyeing techniques.
|Shelburne Museum Guide Ellie Peters|
Hilda said she was spending the day in Webb Gallery introducing visitors to In Fashion, our exhibition of 19th century and contemporary designer fashions. Beth leaned over conspiratorially to share that the best place to begin the daily gallery talk was in the “Complete the Look” room, which displays bodices from our collection paired with imaginative contemporary skirt designs by students at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
|Shelburne Museum Guide Beth Thorpe|